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TOWNSEND, AMOS

TOWNSEND, AMOS (1819-17 Mar. 1895), businessman and politician, was born in Brownsville, Pa. and attended school until 15, when he became a clerk in a Pittsburgh retail establishment. At 19 he moved to Mansfield, forming the mercantile business partnership of A. Townsend & Co. with N. D. Hogg, which lasted 5 years, until the partnership dissolved and the business closed. When violence over slavery erupted in Kansas, the U.S. House of Representatives appointed a special committee to visit the area, investigate, and report. Townsend accompanied the committee as marshal, a position he filled in a manner that gained him the respect of all parties.

Townsend arrived in Cleveland in 1858, accepting a position with Gordon, McMillan & Co., wholesale grocers, where he remained until 1861, when he became a junior partner in the wholesale grocery firm of Edwards, Iddings & Co. When Iddings died in 1862, the firm became Edwards, Townsend & Co., establishing an extensive business and reputation for stability and enterprise. During the CIVIL WAR, Townsend served with the 1ST OHIO VOLUNTEER LIGHT ARTILLERY. Elected to CLEVELAND CITY COUNCIL in 1866, Townsend served 10 years, the last 7 as president. In 1873 he was a member of the state constitutional convention; in 1876, 1878, and 1880 he won election to Congress, serving on the Post Offices & Post Roads, and Commerce Committees, and securing passage of large appropriations to build the Cleveland breakwater. Unmarried and childless, Townsend died in St. Augustine, Fla. and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.


Amos Townsend Papers, WRHS.


Finding aid for the Amos Townsend Papers. WRHS.